Brian Fletcher’s leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the ninth sealed a 2-1 win by the Omaha Storm Chasers over the Salt Lake Bees and also gave the Chasers a 2-0 series lead in the 2013 Pacific Coast League Championship with the final three games remaining in Salt Lake. Omaha will look to finish off their second PCL Championship sweep in franchise history Friday at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
After winning in their last at-bat in the resumed suspended Game 1 earlier in the day, Fletcher’s game-winner capped the Storm Chasers fourth straight come-from-behind win and fifth straight win overall in the PCL Playoffs. Since the Pacific Coast League expanded to 16 teams beginning in the 1998 season, eight teams have won the first two games of the PCL Championship and all eight teams went on to sweep the series. Five of those eight teams won Game 3 on the road.
Storm Chasers starter Yordano Ventura made his first appearance for Omaha since August 29 and first postseason appearance above Single-A, and the 22-year-old tossed six innings of one-run ball while striking out six. Ventura made 15 starts for Omaha this season, and allowed one run or less in eight of those outings. Reliever Zach Jackson pitched three shutout innings giving up just one hit to put the Chasers in position to win in the ninth, and the Omaha bullpen has let across only one earned run and two runs total in 21.2 combined innings this postseason.
The Storm Chasers tied the score at 1-1 in the seventh on a RBI single by Rey Navarro, whose four RBI in the 2013 PCL Playoffs is tied for the team lead with Ben Broussard and Gorkys Hernandez. Navarro is batting .429 in five games this postseason, and his six hits are also tied for the team lead with Broussard and Irving Falu.
In Game 3 Omaha will look to win their second PCL Championship in the last three seasons as they send out Justin Marks, who will face off with Salt Lake right-hander Jarrett Grube.